There are few things more exciting than getting a new sale. After all, selling your product or service is the point of being in business. Finally getting that sale from a client is often the culmination of a lot of hard work.
However, the very act of placing and fulfilling the order starts a whole new process that can be inefficient, time-consuming, labor-intensive, and vulnerable to mistakes and errors. First your salesperson has to place the order. Maybe they call the back office or send an email, or maybe they even write it down and bring it back to the office. Then someone in your office may have to contact your warehouse or fulfillment center to execute the order.
While the order is being fulfilled, the customer could contact your sales team or office to check the status, draining even more time and resources. Finally, someone on your team has to manually enter the order into QuickBookes to get it in your billing system and create an invoice.
What if there was a way to do this seamlessly? What if you're salesperson could place the order and every other step happened automatically? Even better, what if the customer could place the order themselves?
There is a better way. An order management system can automate your order entry, supply chain, and billing processes, eliminating every step that is currently done manually. It used to be that only large corporations could afford to implement an order management system. That's no longer the case. New technology has made an order management system convenient and affordable for businesses of nearly every size.
Five reasons why you need an order management system
Still not sure? Here are five reasons why you should switch to an order management system:
1) They make your sales team more effective. Your sales team will never again be caught off guard with questions about the status of an order. Now, they may have to answer status inquiries with, "Let me check on that," or "I'll have to call the warehouse." An order management system lets them quickly check the status of an order with just a few clicks on a phone, tablet, or laptop, allowing them to answer their customer's question and move on to the next sale.
2) Reduce time spent on customer service. How much time does your office staff spend answering questions about existing or past orders? An order management system can power an online portal where customers can log in and check their order history. They can check the status of open orders and pull up their invoice history to view past records.
3) Reduce opportunities for errors. Your salesperson takes the order and passes it on to your back office. Your back office then transcribes the order and submits it to the warehouse. The warehouse then prints off the order and fulfills it. Each step in this process is an opportunity for an error. An order management system helps eliminate those opportunities.
4) Eliminate manual entry into QuickBooks. If you have enough business, entering information into QuickBooks can nearly be a full-time job. An order management system automatically populates QuickBooks with order information, so you and your team can stop doing it manually.
5) Gain insight into your sales team's performance. Often in a smaller business, it's hard to get the data you need to accurately judge sales performance. How much business is attributable to each salesperson? Get that information quickly with aggregated data from your automated management system.
Systems more affordable and accessible than ever
An automated system isn't just for the big boys anymore. You can take control of your order placement, fulfillment, and invoicing process with a system of your own. Many automated systems are cloud-based and can be implemented with a small monthly per-user fee. Review your process for inefficiencies. Chances are, those inefficiencies can be resolved with an automated system.
Have any comments? Feel Free to share any questions or experiences you have had with managing orders or customer service. Let us know of any other reasons why businesses would benefit from an automated business management system.
Photo Credit: mbgrigby via flickr